Henry Davids © Gallo Images
Exceptional starts and a swashbuckling middle-order are two of the factors that have propelled the Multiply Titans to the summit of the Momentum One-Day Cup log on Sunday, said Malusi Siboto and Heino Kuhn, two of the senior statesmen in the side.
The Titans secured a 35-run win against the Warriors on Sunday and moved to 14 points on the table, one more than the Hollywoodbet Dolphins.
Henry Davids has been one of the Titans’ heroes, having struck 397 runs in five games. In the 2013/2014-season in which the Titans shared the Momentum One Day Cup with the Buildnat Cape Cobras, he managed 400 runs, but right now, he is one of the most consistent performers in the 50-over competition, having blasted 163 as well as three half-centuries.
“Henry is taking more time to get himself in. He told me after a disappointing four-day competition that he is going to back himself and play his natural game,” said Kuhn.
“Henry has listened to Mark Boucher’s plea that once a batsman has established himself at the crease, he should take more responsibility to hammer big scores,” said Siboto.
Both said the good blend between experience and youth have contributed to the success of the Titans.
“We are playing on good wickets, and we are backing ourselves to defend totals after achieving massive scores,” Siboto added.
Albie Morkel, the captain, smashed 34 off 16 balls on Sunday, which included two sixes.
David Wiese blasted 44 off 26 balls, including four sixes, against the Warriors.
“It is no fluke that they are so successful. They are usually the last two batsmen to leave the nets after a practice, as they work so hard on hitting the ball straight for six,” Siboto explained.
Morkel has now hammered 79 sixes in Momentum One Day series cricket or any other 50-over format domestically. He is just three sixes behind the leading hitter of sixes in the history of the domestic 50-over game, Loots Bosman.
“I think you have to ask Albie why he is so successful. I have to hit the ball tremendously hard and well to get the distance to clear the boundaries. Sometimes he just gets half a bat on a ball and it sails over the boundary.
“He also possesses a wide arc of attacking shots. He doesn’t only hit it over cow corner for sixes, but also hammers it straight in the arc between mid-off and mid-on for sixes,” says Kuhn.
“In terms of his technique, he gets his foot close to the bounce of the ball, lunges forward and keeps his shape while hitting through the ball. But it is still a mystery why he gets so much distance and does it so effortlessly, while the rest of us struggle,” said Kuhn.
Siboto promised that the Titans will keep their intensity and energy, not only because there are so many experienced campaigners in the team, but also due to the presence of an experienced coach, Mark Boucher.
“Boucher reads body language very well and will pick up if the intensity and energy is not present,” he added.